Communication errors can cause confusion, and damage your reputation.
It can be embarrassing to make mistakes with communication. For example, if you send an email without checking it, and later realize that it contained an error, you can end up looking sloppy and unprofessional.
But other communication mistakes can have more serious consequences. They can tarnish your reputation, upset clients, or even lead to lost revenue.
In this article, we'll look at 10 common communication mistakes, and we'll discuss what you can do to avoid them.
Mistakes with spelling, tone, and grammar make you look careless. That's why it's essential to check all of your communications before you send them.
Don't rely on spell-checkers: they won't pick up words that are used incorrectly. Instead, proofread your work, and use a dictionary to look up any words that you're unsure about.
You may find it helpful to make a list of words and phrases that you find it hard to get right (such as "your/you're," "its/it's," or "affect/effect"). Store this close to hand.
It can be difficult to see errors in your own work, so consider asking a colleague to look over key documents before you distribute them. Alternatively, read your work aloud – this makes it easier to catch typos and tone errors. Then, give yourself time to reflect on your document, and to make any final changes.
If you want to become a better communicator, take our How Good Are Your Communication Skills? quiz to find out where you shine, and where you need to improve.
Would you announce layoffs to your team by email or IM? If you did, you could upset everyone!
Written communication channels don't allow you to soften difficult messages with nonverbal cues (such as body language ), and they don't allow you to deal immediately with intense emotions.
If you need to deliver bad news, do this in person, and think carefully about how you can do it sensitively, so that you can convey your message but minimize long-term upset at the same time.
When you deliver a difficult message personally, you can pick up on signs that people may have misunderstood key parts of your message, or may have taken the information particularly badly. You can then take steps to clarify your message, or help people deal with the difficult news.
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